Samsung’s new 105-inch UHD TV can go from flat to curved in just a few seconds. The company has its super-sized curved, bendable TV on display at the IFA tech conference here, and it’s stunning. While curved, bendable TVs aren’t new anymore, watching one of this magnitude transform before your eyes is unlike anything we’ve seen before. A Samsung representative said the prototype is still a few years away from making a debut, but could cost as much as 200,000 euros (or $260,000). It’s uncertain, of course, if that will be the official price tag. Considering Samsung’s 85-inch non-bendable version sells for $120,000, we wouldn’t be surprised if this one indeed nears the $250,000 mark.
I came, I saw, and I still don’t know what Samsung has conquered. Creating a 105-inch TV that can bend on command is an undeniable feat of engineering, but it doesn’t seem like anyone stopped to ask why we’d actually want one. Samsung’s massive new prototype TV takes pride of place in the entryway to the company’s grand IFA venue. It flexes back and forth between a flat and curved state with a smooth and unhurried motion. There’s a pretty lady to one side and a blue-shirted demo dude to the other who’ll explain how awesome the technology is. I’ve seen this act before, when an LG rep with a clicker excitedly kept switching modes on its bendable OLED TVs at CES in January. Back then, as now, there was no real explanation for what makes curved TVs desirable or preferable to their established flatscreen brethren. Both Samsung and LG would argue that the point of bendable TVs is to have flexibility and not have to choose, but I struggle to see the need for choice at all. The curvature of this 105-inch TV actually distracts from its vibrant colors and high 5,120 x 2,160 resolution. Whereas a flat TV can be likened to a window in your house, there’s no easy analog in daily life to the curved display. It attempts to envelop the viewer, but even at 105 inches across, it’s not expansive enough to fill your entire field of view.